How to Get Grease Off a Driveway

All winter long, your car took a beating. There was salt; there was sand; there was that time you accidentally drove into a snowbank. Liquids are now dripping from your car's underside onto your driveway, and they're not water. Rings of shiny darkness spot your drive; it's starting to look like a dirty dalmatian. Now you're searching the Net for a cure, looking for magical ways to remove oil and grease stains from your driveway. And this is not too good to be true: You just hit the jackpot of information on how to get grease off a driveway.

Get grease off concrete pavers like these with soap and water. (Photo: rzymu/

How to Get Grease Off a Concrete Driveway

There are two kinds of grease stains on concrete driveways: new stains, and old stains.

New grease removal needs three magical ingredients: dish soap (a really good grease-cutting variety), water, and a nylon-bristled brush. There is a fourth ingredient, but it is not magical: elbow grease. Squirt a whole lot of very good dish soap onto the fresh grease stain. Pour some water on it from a bucket. (Notice I did not say "from a pressure washer"? We'll get to why you should not pressure wash your concrete driveway in a minute.) Now scrub away with that nylon-bristled brush. Metal bristles will scrape off the finish on your concrete, so use nylon, OK?

Old grease stains in concrete, I am sorry to say, require solvents to remove. Allowing a solvent like kerosene or turpentine to soak into the stain, and then blotting the oil that rises to the top of the concrete, is the way to get old grease stains off a concrete driveway. The enormous problem is that these substances are extremely flammable. Paper towels soaked in hard core solvents can spontaneously combust. You can't even leave them in the garbage; you need to burn them so that your garbage can does not suddenly explode into a ball of fire. You have been warned.

How to Get Grease Off an Asphalt Driveway

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," said Benjamin Franklin. It's totally true when it comes to asphalt driveways. Says one Chicago-area pavement contractor, oil and gasoline can eat away at the surface of your asphalt, so seal that asphalt driveway every few years (but not every year or the sealant will peel).

To clean grease off an asphalt driveway, once again the only thing you should use to get grease off an asphalt driveway is: dish soap and water.

Why You Should Not Power Wash Your Driveway, Concrete or Asphalt

Pressure washing (AKA power washing) wears away and weakens concrete and asphalt. It removes the protective sealants that protect the concrete or asphalt, and it can wear away the actual concrete or asphalt.

I'd like to acknowledge that I got a lot of the information shared in this article from Ask the Builder, an expert home remodeler and a wealth of no-nonsense home improvement information.

Chaya Kurtz writes for

Updated March 6, 2018.

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